According to Rabbi Shmuley, gossip is the mother of all human vices. When people gossip, it often means they're bored with their own lives, envious of others and downright mean-spirited, he says. Whether it's gossiping about celebrities or your next-door neighbors, Rabbi Shmuley talks about ways to stop harmful gossip in its tracks.
How to Curb Gossip
- Minimize reading gossip magazines or watching gossip television shows.
- When going out on a date with your spouse, talk about each other, not the neighbors.
- When your children gossip, tell them why it's wrong. Also, never gossip in front of your children.
- When your friends come to you with a juicy piece of gossip, change the subject. "Don't be holier than thou, don't berate them," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Just show them that saying something nice about other people is so much more entertaining and pleasant."
- Apologize to the people you've gossiped about. "Since it's just about the most mortifying thing imaginable, better not to do it in the first place," he says.
"Gossip is the mother of all vices since it betrays boredom with one's own life, an obsession with another's, a pleasure in other people's misfortunes and an envy for their blessings. The best cure for gossip is to develop a healthy interest in your own existence."